Post by dsnyder0cnn on Apr 8, 2011 8:36:57 GMT -5
You're in Atlanta...not far from Nashville, and you have 30 days to kill with the USP-1.
It's an awfully nice sounding unit as you've discovered, and it would be a shame for an element of ambiguity in the wording of the manual to lead people astray. I've written audio component user manuals, and it's not easy to get it 100%!!
It's worth a few minutes on the phone I'd imagine.
Agreed. I actually did call Emotiva...twice. On my first call, I asked to speak with technical support. When I explained that there is no signal on the full range outputs when the HT Bypass input is selected, he asked me how the USP-1 was connected. When I described how the front L/R outputs from the UMC-1 run to the HT Bypass inputs on the USP-1 and the full range outputs on the USP-1 run to my front channel power amp, he said that this was not normally how the USP-1 and UMC-1 are used together. He said that it would be better to let the UMC-1 drive the power amps and connect the USP-1 to one of the UMC-1's inputs.
When I objected, stating that the USP-1 should sound better than the UMC-1, he said that this is not true. They both have the same output stage and sound identical. Folks use the USP-1 for it's phono stage, but the UMC-1 is much more powerful. At that point, I just didn't know what to say.
He didn't seem to be aware of the full range output limitation, so I didn't bother asking him for other workarounds to my problem. I thanked him for his time, hung-up, hit re-dial and asked to speak to sales.
Vince (I think that's the right name) was very much aware of the disabled full range outputs issue with the USP-1 since he owns one as well as the UMC-1. He also prefers full-range fronts, so his workaround was to build completely separate systems in different rooms. In my case, he suggested that I run the front left/right outputs on the UMC-1 to the "AUX 1" input on the USP-1 and then take my best guess at a unity gain volume setting on the USP-1 when it's time to watch movies.
Another very helpful person on this forum actually used TruRTA to plot the frequency response of the USP-1's high pass outputs with the crossover nob at several different settings. At the lowest setting (~50Hz), the high pass outputs are down about 4dB at 30Hz and 7dB at 20Hz. Since most music has little content below 40Hz, he suggested that I try just using the high pass outputs, with or without the sub powered on. Most people who have done this don't even notice that their fronts are not running full-range since the bass roll-off is so gradual.
I still have not decided what I'm going to do, but I am genuinely annoyed at the USP-1's designers for disabling the full-range outputs when the HT Bypass input is selected. Even Vince was unable to come up with a reason for their doing this. It does nothing to simplify the use of the device and only limits its applications. This is not even a product positioning play since the XSP-1 won't be available until years after the introduction of the USP-1. I just don't get it!!!
I'm told that this issue has been discussed elsewhere in these pages, but hopefully my discussion here will help to inform perspective buyers of the USP-1 about it's only serious weakness. It's otherwise an astonishingly good product that I can recommend without hesitation to just about any music and home theater enthusiast with front speakers that are more than three dB down at 40 Hz. Folks with full-range fronts who prefer to listen to music without a sub will do better to wait for the XSP-1 or look elsewhere.